FOREVER KNIGHTS: #3 Forsaking the Vanquished

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CHAVIAS - Savage Has a Watcher

Harridan Hamlet, Dread Country

CHAVIAS

Chavias was lost in thought as he made the long trek to Dread Country. It was day two of this trip and evening was drawing close. As customary for this time of year, Chavias was sent to raid Harridan Hamlet on the edge of Dread Country. Knowing by now they’d have healthy stores stockpiled.

He attempted to outwalk the Targue and Nonis following his trail. Hating the way they smelled, they grunted, they nipped…Everything about them.

Once far enough away from them, Thadeus thudded heavily to his shoulder.

“Hello, Old Friend.” He greeted. Running a finger down the crow’s back in a light caress.

As they entered Harridan, Chavias sensed it was already emptied. Chavias caught the scent of a dead deer in an alleyway behind some booths. The slightly rotted stink of it immediately drew the attention of the beasts with him.

Good. Go away. Chavias walked faster to the storehouse. Knowing what he’d find when he got there. Trying to conceal his hope to speak with the raider, before the Targue returned.

Just as he reached the storehouse, a voice stopped him outside the swinging doors. “There’s nothing in there.”

I figured.

Thadeus shrieked in objection. Turning his head to look at Savage. Shifting his feet restlessly.

Savage always makes him uneasy.

He won’t eat you, Old Friend…I don’t think…

“I thought not.” Chavias said. “He’ll be displeased.” He rotated to spot Savage Jaxson crouched on the peak of the bakery roof. Next to the storehouse.

“Is he ever pleased?”

“No.” Chavias grunted.

“Are the Firoque starving?” Savage rose and thoughtfully walked the pointed peak to draw nearer the edge. Peering down onto the road.

Watching for Targue.

“They are.”

“Is it worth the torture?” He asked tonelessly, crouching again as he watched the road.

But Chavias knew what he asked. Do I keep doing it, even though it causes you suffering?

“Yes.”

“Good.” He didn’t move. Twisting a bit of leather in his fingertips. “Are you ready yet?”

He doesn’t need to specify. We both know I know what he means.

“No.”

Savage Jaxson didn’t push the subject.

He never does.

But he wasn’t leaving either.

“What’s on your mind, Lad?”

“I took the girl with the light.”

Chavias nodded slowly. “Have you hurt her?” He felt the need to ask though he hoped he knew the answer.

“No.”


Not insulted I asked. He expected me to.

“Are you fond of her?” Chavias probed.

“Yes.”

“Good.” Chavias nodded slowly. “She’s important.”

“She is.” It wasn’t a question.

She’s important to you? Chavias was taken aback. I hadn’t thought that was possible.

“Where are you keeping her?”

“At the Blue Lark.”

“Is she safe there?” Chavias asked guardedly.

“I keep her safe.” Savage Jaxson looked up and met Chavias’ look solidly. Blue eyes to gray eyes.

“What about when you’re not there?”

“They don’t cross me.” He rose and walked the roof absentmindedly.

Chavias was sure Savage Jaxson did retain total control of the Assassin’s Guild. “You’d make a fine King.” He thought aloud.

Not for the first time.

“What fool would make me king?”

Not your father, King Ocnomad.

If he’s even your real father... Chavias had begun to suspect Nial Ocnomad had other reasons to lock Savage Jaxson in the Grier Dungeons.

Savage reached the back peak of the bakery and looked back at Chavias. “I like her.”

“I’d gathered that.”

“I want to keep her.” He looked down and they both heard the Targue coming down the road. Savage’s bait, the dead deer, consumed.

Thadeus jerked side to side in panic and Chavias was unsurprised when he abandoned his roost for a safer perch. Landing on the bakery near Savage. Tilting his head as he watched the younger man.

“Savage Jaxson?”

“Yes?”

“Be gentle with her.”

“I try.”

That made Chavias grimace. Does he know how to be?

He drew a shaking breath. Telling himself to trust the boy that’d never let him down.

In-fact, he’s always exceeded my hopes. He reminded himself. Trust him.

But he couldn’t picture Savage Jaxson being gentle with a woman.

Cringing, he spun and looked at the doors of the storehouse. Throwing them open to reveal the barren interior as the Targue flanked him.

They howled in misery to see it was empty.

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